2005 1 Jan. to May

Audio History Archives


Week of 5-30-05 SUNDAY

  • The Stans -- The Five Nations of Central Asia: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan now find themselves at the center of attention, with rich oil deposits, US and Russian bases, and Islamic extremism on their doorstep. The Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyzstan and the police shooting of pro-democracy protestors in Uzbekistan created recent headlines. Presenter Annabelle Quince explains the historical context to the current situation in these countries. Her guests are Michael Barry, Near Eastern Studies Dept, Princeton, and author, Figurative Art in Medieval Islam: And the Riddle of Bihzad of Herat (1465-1535) (Flammarion, 2005); Susan Whitfield, International Dunhuang Project, British Library, and author, Life Along the Silk Road (John Murray, 1999); Kirill Nourzhanov, Center for Arab & Islamic Studies, Australian National Univ; Martha Brill Olcott, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; and Anara Tabyshalieva, cofounder, Institute for Regional Studies in the Kyrgyz Republic. (Hindsight on Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Radio National, Real Audio 00:54 [available through July 2nd 2005])

    Week of 5-30-05 FRIDAY

  • Cinderella Man: Director Ron Howard discusses his latest film Cinderella Man, a rags-to-riches true story of boxer James Braddock, whose improbable rise during the Great Depression embodied the hopes of the suffering. Howard says that what makes the movie intriguing is the combination of the protagonist's actions both in life and sport. (NPR Morning Edition, Real Audio & Windows Media 00:06)

  • James Dean: This year marks the 50th anniversary of the death of James Dean. NPR's Bob Mondello has a remembrance of the actor who became an icon after making only three movies. (NPR All Things Considered, Real Audio & Windows Media 00:06)

    Week of 5-30-05 THURSDAY

  • Deep Throat & Bob Woodward: David Folkenflik discusses today’s front-page story in the Washington Post in which Bob Woodward recounts the details of how he met Mark Felt, now revealed as the confidential informant"Deep Throat." As the relationship between Woodward and Felt developed, it helped Woodward and Carl Bernstein unravel the Watergate story. (NPR All Things Considered, Real Audio & Windows Media 00:05)

    Week of 5-30-05 WEDNESDAY

  • Deep Throat & Ben Bradlee: Michele Norris talks to Ben Bradlee of the Washington Post. As editor during Watergate, Bradlee was responsible for overseeing the paper's coverage of the scandal and deciding whether to trust his reporters’ sources, including"Deep Throat." (NPR All Things Considered, Real Audio & Windows Media 00:12)

  • Deep Throat: Alex Chadwick talks with veteran FBI reporter Ronald Kessler about tensions between the White House and the FBI at the time of the Watergate break-in. Kessler says those tensions may have led former top-level FBI agent Mark Felt to become"Deep Throat," the source who helped Washington Post reporters uncover details of the break-in at the Watergate complex and subsequent cover-up by the Nixon administration. (NPR Day to Day, Real Audio & Windows Media 00:12)

  • Gay-Friendly TV Through the Years: Television critic Andrew Wallenstein reviews the new TV Land documentary Tickled Pink, which examines the history of television shows that resonated within the gay community long before homosexuality was openly discussed on the air. (NPR Day to Day, Real Audio & Windows Media 00:04)

  • Christopher Hitchens on Thomas Jefferson: Discussions of the life of Thomas Jefferson often revolve around great issues of liberty and slavery, idealism and hypocrisy. But his words helped transform an uprising into a revolution, and as president, he transformed a group of states along the Atlantic seaboard into a continental power. The always-provocative Christopher Hitchens describes him as the man who designed America. Hitchens new book is Thomas Jefferson: Author of America. (NPR Talk of the Nation, Real Audio & Windows Media 00:17)

    Week of 5-30-05 MONDAY

  • Memorial Day: Host Bryan Le Beau discusses the origins and history of Memorial Day with Matthew Dennis, Professor of History, University of Oregon, and author of Red, White, and Blue Letter Days: An American Calendar. Le Beau is Professor of History and Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Missouri-Kansas City. (Talking History, MP3 00:29)


  • The American West Do Into the West and Deadwood hearken a renewed interest in the American West -- or merely Hollywood’s search for fresh storylines? The motives that propelled pioneers, gold prospectors, entrepreneurs, cowboys and finally the US army itself to trek west are as numerous as there were people moving there. For a British perspective on the role of the frontier in the understanding of the American psyche, Melvyn Bragg leads a round-table discussion with Frank McLynn, Dept of Literature, University of Strathclyde, and author of Wagons West: The Epic Story of America’s Overland Trails; Jenni Calder, author of There Must Be a Lone Ranger: The Myth and Reality of the American Wild West; and Christopher Frayling, Rector, Royal College of Art, and author of Spaghetti Westerns: Cowboys and Europeans from Karl May to Sergio Leone. (BBC Radio 4)

  • Lewis and Clark Fred Nielsen discusses Lewis and Clark’s ‘vast enterprise’ with James Ronda, Barnard Chair Professor in Western History, University of Tulsa, whose books include Lewis and Clark among the Indians and Voyages of Discovery: Essays on the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Nielsen is a member of the History Dept at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. (Talking History)

  • Jesse James On the publication of his 2002 biography, Jesse James: The Last Rebel of The Civil War, independent historian T.J. Stiles is interviewed by Eileen Dugan, History Professor at Creighton University. (Talking History)

  • The American West, Part 2: Images in Movies On the publication of his 2002 book The Hollywood West: Lives of Film Legends Who Shaped It, Richard Etulain joins host Bryan Le Beau to discuss how Hollywood has represented the West. Etulain is Director Emeritus, Center of the American West, University of New Mexico. Le Beau is Professor of History and Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Missouri-Kansas City. (Talking History)

  • The American West, Part 1: Images in Advertising In this Talking History program from 2002, host Bryan Le Beau discusses images of the West in advertising with Elliot West, distinguished Professor of History, University of Arkansas, and author of the essay “Selling the Myth: Western Images in Advertising” in his collection Wanted Dead or Alive. Le Beau is Professor of History and Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Missouri-Kansas City. (Talking History)

  • Transcontinental Railroad On the publication of his 2000 book Nothing Like It in the World: The Men Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad, 1863-1869, historian Stephen Ambrose is interviewed by host Brian Le Beau, Professor of History and Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Missouri-Kansas City. (Talking History)

  • Myths of the Gunfighter: Billy the Kid In this 1999 Talking History program, host Brian Le Beau discusses Billy the Kid with Robert Utley, one of the country's most prominent western historians and author of several books, including High Noon in Lincoln,Violence on the Western Frontier and Billy the Kid: A Short and Violent Life. Le Beau is Professor of History and Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Missouri-Kansas City. (Talking History)

  • Myths of the Gunfighter: Wyatt Earp In this 1999 Talking History program, host Brian Le Beau discusses Wyatt Earp with journalist and Earp historian Casey Tefertiller, author of the critically acclaimed book Wyatt Earp: The Life behind the Legend. Le Beau is Professor of History and Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Missouri-Kansas City. (Talking History)

  • Myths of the Gunfighter: Jesse James In this 1999 Talking History program, host Brian Le Beau discusses Jesse James with Marley Brandt, author of Jesse James: The Man and the Myth. Le Beau is Professor of History and Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Missouri-Kansas City. (Talking History)

  • Myths of the Gunfighter In this 1999 Talking History program, host Brian Le Beau interviews Richard Slotkin, author of Gunfighter Nation, about the rise to popularity of the gunfighter in American popular culture. Slotkin is Olin Professor of American Studies, Weslyan University. Le Beau is Professor of History and Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Missouri-Kansas City. (Talking History)

  • Edmund Burke v. Warren Hastings: Imperial Misdemeanor? Holding the power of states and corporations to account is a recurrent issue for human society. In 1787, Edmund Burke, MP, instigated the impeachment of Warren Hastings, Governor-General of Bengal and an executive of the East India Company, for ‘high crimes and misdemeanors,’ in a legal case that alerted the establishment to the perils of Empire. The trial lasted seven years and, although Hastings was eventually exonerated, he was left destitute. In this modern-day rematch, actors read the words of Burke and Hastings while historian Lawrence James takes the case for Hastings, arguing that empire, while not blameless, was beneficial to the colonizers as well as the colonized; while Maria Misra, Lecturer in Modern History at Oxford University, champions Burke, countering that expediency is not the same as justice. (BBC Radio 4)

  • Lisa Jardine, Devout Skeptic? Historian Lisa Jardine believes the big ideas concerning God, religion and spirituality are very important, yet she is unconvinced by traditional explanations. As part of her “Devout Skeptics” series, journalist and novelist Bel Mooney interviews Jardine, Professor of Renaissance Studies at Queen Mary, University of London, and Director of the AHRB Research Center for Editing Lives and Letters there, as well as an Honorary Fellow of King’s College, Cambridge. Jardine is the author of, most recently, On a Grander Scale: The Outstanding Life of Sir Christopher Wren, as well as Worldly Goods: A New History of the Renaissance; Ingenious Pursuits: Building the Scientific Revolution; and The Curious Life of Robert Hooke: The Man Who Measured London. (BBC Radio 4)

  • Crusades Francine Stock talks to the director Ridley Scott about his new movie Kingdom of Heaven. The director of Gladiator, Scott has again been inspired by historical incidents to combine rousing escapades with history lessons -- current and recent US-Iraqi events echoed in a tale of western armies in the Middle East. (BBC Radio 4)

  • Oxyrhynchus -- City of the Sharp Nosed FishOxyrhynchus is the Greek translation for ‘City of the Sharp Nosed Fish,’ as its residents worshipped the sharp-nosed pike that thrived in the Nile nearby. While audio is no longer available for his four 30-minute documentaries from 2002 on the social history suggested by the Oxyrhynchus Papyri, Michael Kustow behind-the-scenes comments make the papyri seem like a bunch of postcards from another millennium. Kustow’s remarks are brief (6.5 min.) but the bountiful BBC website devotes seven info-rich webpages to the city and citizens of Oxyrhynchus, here.

  • Death Penalty Many Western nations view America's use of capital punishment as being in conflict with its stance on human rights. Host Bryan Le Beau discusses the paradoxes of America's death penalty with Stuart Banner, Professor of Law, UCLA, and author of The Death Penalty: An American History. Le Beau is Professor of History and Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Missouri-Kansas City. (Talking History)

  • Bush's Foreign Policy David M. Kennedy joins Talking History to comment on the legacy of Wilsonian era foreign policy and current American foreign policy. Kennedy is Donald J. McLachlan Professor of History at Stanford University. (Talking History)

  • Robert Oppenheimer He is remembered as the father of the bomb. But the story of J. Robert Oppenheimer is more than how the world's most destructive weapon came to be. A new biography describes a complex, contradictory and at times mystical genius who defies easy labels. Guests: Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin, authors of American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer. (NPR)

  • Armenian Massacre Turkey's massacre and deportation of ethnic Armenians during World War I has long been a taboo topic among Turks. But as Turkey pushes to join the European Union, the issue has become a political football. Some European lawmakers have joined Armenian groups demanding that Turkey formally recognize that genocide took place. (NPR)

  • Vietnam 30 Years Later, Pt. 5 In the fifth installment of a weeklong series on the 30th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War, NPR's Michael Sullivan travels to Quang Ngai province, where the massacre of My Lai occurred in 1968. Now, three decades after the end of the Vietnam War, it seems old wounds are slow to heal. (NPR)

  • Vietnam 30 Years Later, Pt. 4 In the fourth installment of a weeklong series on the 30th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War, NPR's Michael Sullivan travels to Hue. In the former imperial capital, tourists attend performances of Vietnam's pre-communist court music, and several five-star hotels are under construction. (NPR)

  • Vietnam 30 Years Later, Pt. 3 In the third installment of a weeklong series on the 30th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War, NPR's Michael Sullivan visits the poor north-central province of Nghe An, which suffered badly during the war -- and is the birthplace of the country's most honored leader. (NPR)

  • Vietnam 30 Years Later, Pt. 2 In the second installment of a weeklong series on the 30th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War, NPR's Michael Sullivan looks at Hanoi, once the capital of North Vietnam and now the capital of a nation reunified under communist rule. (NPR)

  • Vietnam 30 Years Later, Pt. 1 In the first installment of a weeklong series on the 30th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War, NPR's Michael Sullivan takes a look at Vietnam, 30 years after US troops left the country, and journeys on the north-south Highway 1, on the border with China. The first stop is Lang Son, a town the Chinese once occupied. (NPR)

  • Gallipoli Australian, New Zealand and some British troops landed on Turkey's Gallipoli peninsula 90 years ago Monday. Historian Niall Ferguson talks about the bloodiest war in British military history -- known as one of the world's worst military disasters. He says Gallipoli is part of both Turkey's and Australia's national identity. (NPR)

  • Filibusters Robert Siegel talks with Ross Baker, professor of political science at Rutgers University, about the history of the filibuster and procedural change in the Senate. (NPR)

  • Underground Railroad Most American history textbooks paint a romantic picture of the Underground Railroad. In the new book Bound for Canaan: The Underground Railroad and the War for the Soul of America, author Fergus Bordewich challenges those images, telling the story of a bi-racial movement animated by moral outrage, religious fervor and radical politics. (NPR)

  • Nutrition NPR charts the evolution of the Department of Agriculture's nutritional advice to Americans since 1894, finding some common themes through the years. (NPR)

  • Papal Succession Problems with papal succession have dogged the Catholic Church throughout its history. In the past it has led to wars, schisms and intrigue. Often bribery, poison or the dagger decided who became pope. A review of history with NPR's Michael Shuster. (NPR)

  • McDonald's and American Culture NPR's Talk of the Nation: With more than 28,000 restaurants in 119 countries, McDonald's golden arches are recognized in almost all corners of the world. In its 50 years, the hamburger chain has changed the way we eat out, and revolutionized marketing. (NPR)

  • Women's History Month Talking History marks Women's History Month with an interview with Estelle Freedman, the Edgar E. Robinson Professor in US History at Stanford University and author of No Turning Back: The History of Feminism and the Future of Women. She discusses the gradual social change that continues to bring a realization that women are equal to men, with host Bryan Le Beau. (Talking History)

  • Black History Month Bryan Le Beau’s guest, Ken Greenberg, discusses Nat Turner, leader of the slave rebellion in August 1831 and perhaps one of the least understood figures in American history. Ken Greenberg is author of Nat Turner: A Slave Rebellion in History and Memory, and writer and co-producer for"A Troublesome Property," a documentary about Nat Turner. (Taking History)

  • Presidents' Day Matthew Dennis and host Bryan Le Beau continue their yearlong look at the American holiday calendar. They discuss Presidents’ Day and the rise of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln as national heroes. Matthew Dennis is Professor of History at the University of Oregon and author of Red, White and Blue Letter Days: An American Calendar. (Talking History)

  • George Washington & Slavery Talking History’s Fred Nielsen discusses the complex story of George Washington, and his action of granting freedom to his slaves, with Henry Wiencek, author of An Imperfect God: George Washington, His Slaves, and the Creation of America. Wiencek’s previous book, The Hairstons: An American Family in Black and White, received the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1999. (Talking History)

  • Black History Museums Across the country this month, hundreds of museums are highlighting the unique history of African Americans. In Baltimore, the National Great Blacks in Wax museum is marking Black History Month. Guest: Joanne Walter, museum founder and director. (NPR)

  • Stokely Carmichael In the months before his death in 1998, black revolutionary Stokely Carmichael was collaborating with writer Michael Thelwell on his autobiography, Ready for Revolution: The Life and Struggles of Stokely Carmichael. Since then, Thelwell has been working to reclaim Carmichael's history. But that's a difficult task, considering so many people view Carmichael as the man whose views led to the collapse of the civil rights movement. NPR's Roy Hurst reports. (NPR)

  • Malcolm X Juan Williams discusses Malcolm X on NPR. The civil rights leader Malcolm X was assassinated 40 years ago Monday in New York. Malcolm X was both charismatic and feared, and he advocated black power as a response to white racism. His family plans to convert the ballroom where he was killed into a history and educational center. Malcolm X would have been 80 years old this year. (NPR)

  • Slavery Certain events in history people just know -- in Great Britain, it's well-known that King John signed the Magna Carta in 1215; in America, that Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863. But few know this seminal event came decades after Britain had already cut its ties to the slave trade. NPR's Tony Cox talks with Adam Hochschild, author of Bury the Chains: Prophets and Rebels in the Fight to Free an Empire's Slaves, about that moment in British history and its impact on America's emancipation movement. (NPR)

  • Bush 2005 Inauguration Memorable Inauguration Speeches Are Few NPR's Renee Montagne talks to presidential historian Robert Dallek about memorable inauguration speeches. He says there have been only four standouts -- and that inaugural addresses tend to be well written but short on fresh ideas. (NPR)

  • Tsunami/Krakatoa NPR's Melissa Block talks to author Simon Winchester about his book Krakatoa. The volcano exploded in 1883, killing more than 36,000 people and affecting weather worldwide. Winchester presents details of how word of the event spread and what it was like near the scene in the days leading up to the blast, and about the short- and long-term aftermath. The final explosion created a noise said to be the loudest heard in recorded history. (NPR)